Imphal, Sept. 23: More than 70 students of the Manipur Institute of Technology here fled their hostels last night after police mounted a crackdown on striking students present on the campus last evening. They have taken shelter at a nearby community hall.
About 400 students of the institute under Manipur University have been agitating since September 15, demanding removal of the principal in-charge, Th. Kulachandra, for alleged mismanagement. They have been holding a relay hunger strike on the campus.
Yesterday, the police fired tear gas shells and lobbed smoke bombs at a group of students staging the hunger strike, following which they fled the hostels. In the evening, they assembled at the gate of the institute and took shelter at Yengkhom Leirak community hall at Takyelpat, barely 1km from the institute and 4km from here. The students said 22 of them were injured and were undergoing treatment at the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences.
Education minister Moirangthem Okendro Singh said efforts were on to find a solution to the problem.
Because of the agitation, internal examination scheduled from September 19 to 21 did not take place. The next semester examination is to begin from December 3.
The campus of the institute was deserted today. Employees came, but went back as the gate of the office was padlocked. Kulachandra was not present at the institute at that time and the employees present did not know about his whereabouts. Two citizensí organisations are providing food to the students. Parents met at an undisclosed place today to discuss the situation.